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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

CA-Gov: Arnold Schwarzenegger's $60 Million Report Card

Posted by Bob Brigham

My how convention wisdom evolves. Six months ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to cruz to re-election. Now he's in for the battle of his life, from the Contra Costa Times:

California's teachers are girding for a battle royal.

The 335,000-member California Teachers Association began assembling a $60 million war chest last weekend to fight off Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's anticipated actions on school funding guarantees, teacher pay and tenure, all of which are expected to appear on a special election ballot in November.

Even in California, $60 million is a huge campaign fund. And this is just the teachers. Add in the nurses and the firefighters and the unions and the Democratic Party and the people, and it is easy to see how a quarter of a billion dollars could be spent against Schwarzenegger in the next two years. In all probability, there could be far more spent. Here is a key point from the story:

But California teachers can opt out of their union's political activities at the local, state and national level without losing any of their rights and privileges, said CTA vice president Dave Sanchez.

Some teachers take that option. Others, like Mt. Diablo union president and CTA state representative Mike Noce, think the political lobbying is so worthwhile that they contribute more.

"This equalizes the little guy," said Noce. "It gives me a voice in Sacramento."

The current political climate has incensed teachers to such a degree that several teachers who initially opted out came back to Noce to change their minds, he said. Even political neophytes have hit the streets, demonstrating outside San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Hotel last week when Schwarzenegger was in town to raise campaign money.

People were unhappy with Gray Davis. But when it comes to Schwarzenegger, the people are pissed off.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati